Excellent Mystery Audio CD
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Top Customer Reviews
After the abbey at Winchester is burned down, two new monks arrive at Shrewsbury -- Brother Humilis, a famous ex-crusader, and Brother Fidelis, a mute young boy who follows him and cares for him. It also turns out that Humilis received some truly horrible wounds during the Crusades that are slowly killing him, and have left him basically castrated. Because of his injury, he ended his engagement to a rich young girl named Lady Julian and became a monk.
However, an old friend of his arrives at the abbey and asks for his blessing in wooing Julian... only to find that while her brother says she became a nun, there is no trace of her becoming one. Cadfael is brought into the investigation, with only some pieces of jewelry as the clues to where she has gone -- but it soon becomes clear that one of the monks is more than he appears.
This book ends with a marriage prayer, and honestly that isn't surprising. "An Excellent Mystery" revolves around marriage, thwarted love and how true love can be divorced from sex -- on one hand you have the deep love between Fidelis and Humilis, and on the other you have a bisexual monk's obsessions and with Rhun and Fidelis (which are all about physical attraction and rage, with no actual love).Read more ›
Peters books are a pleasure to read. She exhibits an elegant turn of phrase that. As someone else here has already remarked, she makes the "grim and gritty middle ages" sound like someplace you might actually want to live. And this is one of her better plots. I figured out what was going on about halfway through, but only because I got an unintentional hint from someone who had already read the book. Even so, it was a pleasure to watch the story unfold.
Elegant style and clever plotting aside, however, the story is a bit over-romanticized. For example, at one point Nicholas rides non-stop from Winchester to Shrewsbury, through both day and night and, finally, through a storm. He "must get his tale at once to the ears of authority" and he "dared not stop hating, or the remaining grief became more than he could stand." All this intense feeling over a girl he had only met once, three years earlier. Sorry if this makes me a chauvinist, but clearly this is a woman writing about how women wish men felt about them. This is the mystical ideal of chivalrous love.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
My goal is to read all of Cadfael's mysteries in the order they've been written. This one is the 11th. and it is as good as the very first. Read morePublished on May 6 2014 by Luisa Roberts
This entire series is great. A true feel for what life must have been like in the 1100's in England. Read morePublished on March 22 2001 by Russ White
Ellis Peters will be missed. BUT! Now Brother Cadfael belongs to history, and the readers who love him so.
Start at the beginning and READ THIS SERIES! Read more
I have to say that this is my favorite of the Chronicles. It has great characters, a riveting storyline, and the most beautiful picture of true, sacrificial love I have ever... Read morePublished on Sept. 5 2000 by Laura Johnson
Though I love Brother Cadfael, this story was most tedious and far-fetched. I couldn't believe that this young woman would do what she did for a man she hardly knew, and the... Read morePublished on Jan. 25 1999 by M. Palmer
In this moving and dramatic story,Ellis Peters succeeds in doing something I thought was impossible in a mystery - and I am a mystery writer myself. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 1999